The European Commission is expected to publish its communication on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas during the first semester 2021. The Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas is coordinated by Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, European Commissioner for Democracy & Demography. Janusz Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, and Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms will also collaborate to develop the vision.
If Euromontana welcomes this prospective vision for rural areas, it remains crucial to make sure that the developed vision takes into account the diversity of situations in rural, remote, sparsely populated and mountain areas and contributes to the quality of life of mountain populations.
With the support of mountain stakeholders from all over Europe, Euromontana therefore contributed to the public consultation launched by the European Commission to provide feedback and recommendations for the future of rural mountainous areas.
Euromontana’s vision covers all necessary dimensions for a placed-based and sustainable territorial development in mountain regions. It notably includes:
- Reinforced implementation of Cohesion Policy tools in mountain areas, with a placed-based approach and better communication to potential beneficiaries on the available tools and funds.
- Smarter governance between EU policies, for instance with a simplification of Structural and Investments Funds, a real rural proofing of European policies and an ambitious European rural agenda in respect of article 174 TFEU, as requested by the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament.
- Enhanced innovation, including digital and social, with ring-fenced funds for initiatives such as Smart Villages and through the promotion of rural living-labs, third places and bottom-up initiatives.
- Strengthened attractivity, including among youth and newcomers, thanks to territorial marketing, qualified employment opportunities all year long, and a focused attention to the ageing population.
- Greater focus on sustainability in rural areas, through a better consideration of their contributions to the Green Deal objectives, of the opportunities their offer for a greener economy and of their natural heritage and unique biodiversity.
To read our detailed recommendations, please see “Towards a Long-Term Vision for Mountains’ Rural Areas”. The European Commission’s consultation remains open to feedback until November 30 so don’t hesitate to reuse this document in your contributions.19 November 2020